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University of California Berkeley 

Hugh Se/wyn 




^emesianus EC. 

H. S. Mauberley 


Part I. 


Ode pour f 'election de son sepulchre 9 

II. 10 

III. ii 

IV. 12 

V. 13 

Teux Glauques 14 
" Siena mi fe , disfecemi Maremma 1 5 

*Brennbaum \ 6 

Mr. Nixon 17 

X. 18 

XL 19 

XII. 20 



Part II. 


I. 22 

II. 23 

III. " The age demanded" 25 

IV. 27 

V. Medallion 28 



OR three years, out of key with his time, 
He strove to resuscitate the dead art 
Of poetry ; to maintain " the sublime " 
In the old sense. Wrong from the start 

No hardly, but, seeing he had been born 

In a half savage country, out of date ; 

Bent resolutely on wringing lilies from the acorn ; 

Capaneus ; trout for factitious bait ; 

ap roi Travff , o<r 'eV( T/oo/jf/ 

Caught in the unstopped ear ; 

Giving the rocks small lee-way 

The chopped seas held him, therefore, that year. 

His true Penelope was Flaubert, 
He fished by obstinate isles ; 
Observed the elegance of Circe's hair 
Rather than the mottoes on sun-dials. 

Unaffected by " the march of events," 

He passed from men's memory in fan trentiesme 

De son cage ; the case presents 

No adjunct to the Muses' diadem. 



HE age demanded an image 
Of its accelerated grimace, 
Something for the modern stage, 
Not, at any rate, an Attic grace; 

Not, not certainly, the obscure reveries 
Of the inward gaze ; 
Better mendacities 

Than the classics in paraphrase ! 

^mwon. & JTS r*mrfi If A 

The " age demanded " chiefly a mould in plaster, 
Made with no loss of time, 
A prose kinema, not, not assuredly, alabaster 
Or the "sculpture" of rhyme. 

,m ol jron 

1 1 


HE tea-rose tea-gown, etc. 
Supplants the mousseline of Cos, 
The pianola "replaces " 
Sappho's barbitos. 

Christ follows Dionysus, 
Phallic and ambrosial 
Made way for macerations <;^ 
Caliban casts out Ariel. 

AII i_- n 

All things are a flowing, 

Sage Heracleitus says ; 

But a tawdry cheapness 

Shall reign throughout our days. 

Even the Christian beauty 
Defects after Samothrace ; 
"We see TO KaXdv 
Decreed in the market place. 

Faun's flesh is not to us, 
Nor the saint's vision. 
We have the press for wafer ; 
Franchise for circumcision. 

All men, in law, are equals. 
Free of Peisistratus, 
We choose a knave or an eunuch 
To rule over us. 

O bright Apollo, 

TIV avSpa, riv jj/owa, Ttva Oeov, 

What god, man, or hero 

Shall I place a tin wreath upon ! 



HESE fought, in any case, 

and some believing, pro domo, in any case 

Some quick to arm, 

some for adventure, 

some from fear of weakness, 

some from fear of censure, 

some for love of slaughter, in imagination, 

learning later . 

some in fear, learning love of slaughter ; 

Died some pro patria, non dulce non et decor ". . 

walked eye-deep in hell 

believing in old men's lies, then unbelieving 

came home, home to a lie, 

home to many deceits, 

home to old lies and new infamy ; 

usury age-old and age-thick 
and liars in public places. 

Daring as never before, wastage as never before. 
Young blood and high blood, 
Fair cheeks, and fine bodies ; 

fortitude as never before 

frankness as never before, 
disillusions as never told in the old days, 
hysterias, trench confessions, 
laughter out of dead bellies. 


HERE died a myriad, 
And of the best, among them, 
For an old bitch gone in the teeth, 
For a botched civilization, 

Charm, smiling at the good mouth, 
Quick eyes gone under earth's lid, 

For two gross of broken statues, 
For a few thousand battered books. 



LADSTONE was still respected, 
When John Ruskin produced 
" Kings Treasuries " ; Swinburne 
And Rossetti still abused. 

Foetid Buchanan lifted up his voice 
When that faun's head of hers 

Became a pastime for 

Painters and adulterers. 

JUfi*8 .'5 vvf>/ ' dfeg& $ moil ;;': 

The Burne-Jones cartons 
Have preserved her eyes ; 
Still, at the Tate, they teach 
Cophetua to rhapsodize ; 

Thin like brook-water, 

With a vacant gaze. 

The English Rubaiyat was still-born 

In those days. 

'" or -- T ?' tt-"" C l r '{ \ f ^ - *< 

The thin, clear gaze, the same 

Still darts out faun-like from the half-ruin'd fac 

Questing and passive ---- 

" Ah, poor Jenny's case "... 

Bewildered that a world 
Shows no surprise 
At her last maquero's 



MONG the pickled foetuses and bottled bones, 
Engaged in perfecting the catalogue, 
I found the last scion of the 

Senatorial families of Strasbourg, Monsieur Verog. 

T- 1_ t_ . 11 J Cn 11-r <. 

For two hours he talked or Gallitet ; 
Of Dowson ; of the Rhymers' Club ; 

T- 1J 1_ T 1_ /T 1x J' J 

Told me how Johnson (Lionel) died 

r> c 11- c L- u i L -3tt 

By falling from a high stool in a pub . . . 

But showed no trace of alcohol 

At the autopsy, privately performed 

Tissue preserved the pure mind 

Arose toward Newman as the whiskey warmed. 

Dowson found harlots cheaper than hotels ; 
Headlam for uplift ; Image impartially imbued 
With raptures for Bacchus, Terpsichore and the Church. 
So spoke the author of " The Dorian Mood ", 

_ T _ -)8\ b'nbi-'iLsd 

M. Verog, out of step with the decade, 

Detached from his contemporaries, 

XT 1 J 1 1 

Neglected by the young, 
Because of these reveries. 

y:hQ'!U?, on ev/o?!S 



rHE sky-like limpid eyes, 
The circular infant's face, 
The stiffness from spats to collar 
Never relaxing into grace ; 

The heavy memories of Horeb, Sinai and the forty years, 

Showed only when the daylight fell 

Level across the face 

Of Brennbaum " The Impeccable ". 



N the cream gilded cabin of his steam yacht 

Mr. Nixon advised me kindly, to advance with fewer 

Dangers of delay. "Consider 
" Carefully the reviewer. 

" I was as poor as you are ; 

" When I began I got, of course, 

" Advance on royalties, fifty at first ", said Mr. Nixon, 

" Follow me, and take a column, 

" Even if you have to work free. 

" Butter reviewers. From fifty to three hundred 

" I rose in eighteen months ; 

" The hardest nut I had to crack 

" Was Dr. Dundas. 

" I never mentioned a man but with the view 

" Of selling my own works. 

" The tip's a good one, as for literature 

*' It gives no man a sinecure." 

And no one knows, at sight a masterpiece. 
And give up verse, my boy, 
There's nothing in it. 

* * * 

Likewise a friend of Bloughram's once advised me : 
Don't kick against the pricks, 

Accept opinion. The " Nineties " tried your game 
And died, there's nothing in it. 


ENEATH the sagging roof 
The stylist has taken shelter, 
Unpaid, uncelebrated, &\fc 
At last from the world's welter 

Nature receives him, 

With a placid and uneducated mistress 

He exercises his talents 

And the soil meets his distress. 

The haven from sophistications and contentions 
Leaks through its thatch ; 
He offers succulent cooking ; 
The door has a creaking latch. 

1 9 



Habits of mind and feeling, 

Possibly. But in Baling 

With the most bank-clerkly of Englishmen? 

No, " Milesien " is an exaggeration. 
No instinct has survived in her 
Older than those her grandmother 
Told her would fit her station. 



APHNE with her thighs in bark 
Stretches toward me her leafy hands ", 
Subjectively. In the stuffed-satin drawing-room 
I await The Lady Valentine's commands, 

Knowing my coat has never been 
Of precisely the fashion 
To stimulate, in her, 
A durable passion ; 

Doubtful, somewhat, of the value 

Of well-gowned approbation 

Of literary effort, 

But never of The Lady Valentine's vocation : 

Poetry, her border of ideas, 

The edge, uncertain, but a means of blending 

With other strata 

Where the lower and higher have ending ; 

A hook to catch the Lady Jane's attention, 
A modulation toward the theatre, 

f _.. ** '" -^" 

Also, in the case of revolution, 

A possible friend and comforter. 

* ^m^? wo s^hli8 

* % * 

Conduct, on the other hand, the soul 

" Which the highest cultures have nourished " 

To Fleet St. where 

Dr. Johnson flourished ; 

Beside this thoroughfare 

The sale of half-hose has 

Long since superseded the cultivation 

Of Pierian roses. 


ENVOI (1919) 

O, dumb -born book, 

Tell her that sang me once that song of Lawes ; 

Hadst thou but song 

As thou hast subjects known, 

Then were there cause in thee that should condone 

Even my faults that heavy upon me lie 

And build her glories their longevity. 

Tell her that sheds 

Such treasure in the air, 

Recking naught else but that her graces give 

Life to the moment, 

I would bid them live 

As roses might, in magic amber laid, 

Red overwrought with orange and all made 

One substance and one colour 

Braving time. iafebd Tsrf r y^ 

Tell her that goes 

With song upon her lips 

But sings not out the song, nor knows 

The maker of it, some other mouth, 

May be as fair as hers, 

Might, in new ages, gain her worshippers, 

When our two dusts with Waller's shall be laid, 

Sittings on siftings in oblivion, 

Till change hath broken down 

All things save Beauty alone. 





URNED from the "eau-forte 
Par Jaquemart ' 
To the strait head 
Of Mcssalina : 

&H falrhA 

" His true Penelope 
Was Flaubert ", 
And his tool 
The engraver's 

Not the full smile, 
His art, but an art 
In profile ; 

Pier Francesca, 
Pisanello lacking the skill 
To forge Achaia. 

;. i / . . ", ... .r.Ayr iii/'j- - , 


, ' 

n '-J : , 
<T O'aoT 



" Qu'est ce quils satenf de f amour y t 
guest ce quits pettvent comprendre ? 

Sils ne comprennent pas la poeste, 
s'i/s ne sentent pas la musique, quest ce 
quils peu^ent comprendre de cette pas- 
ston en comparaison avec laquelle la rose 
estgrossiere et le parfum des violettes un 
tonnerre?" CAID ALI 

OR three years, diabolus in the scale, 
He drank ambrosia, 
All passes, ANANGKE prevails, 
Came end, at last, to that Arcadia. 

He had moved amid her phantasmagoria, 
Amid her galaxies, 


h ns 5ird f i>K c: 

Drifted .... drifted precipitate, 
Asking time to be rid of , . .\ " 
Of his bewilderment ; to designate 
His new found orchid.V.'vr:i 

To be certain , , . . certain , . . 

(Amid serial flowers) , , time for arrangements 

Drifted on 

To the final estrangement ; 

Unable in the supervening blank ness 
To sift TO AGATHON from the chaff 
Until he found his seive . . . 
Ultimately, his seismograph : 

Given, that is, his urge 
To convey the relation 
Of eye-lid and cheek-bone 
By verbal manifestation ; 

To present the series 

Of curious heads in medallion 

He had passed, inconscient, full gaze, 

The wide-banded irises 

And botticellian sprays implied 

In their diastasis ; 

Which anaesthesis, noted a year late, 
And weighed, revealed his great affect, 
(Orchid), mandate 
Of Eros, a retrospect. 

Mouths biting empty air, 
The still stone dogs, 
Caught in metamorphosis were, 
Left him as epilogues. 


VIDE POEM II. Page 10 

OR this agility chance found 
Him of all men, unfit 
As the red-beaked steeds of 
The Cytheraean for a chain-bit. 

The glow of porcelain 
Brought no reforming sense 
To his perception 
Of the social inconsequence. 

Thus, if her colour 

Came against his gaze, 

Tempered as if 

It were through a perfect glaze 

He made no immediate application 

Of this to relation of the state 

To the individual, the month was more temperate 

Because this beauty had been 

The coral isle, the lion-coloured sand 
Burst in upon the porcelain revery : 
Impetuous troubling 
Of his imagery. 

Mildness, amid the neo-Neitzschean clatter, 
His sense of graduations, 
Quite out of place amid 
Resistance to current exacerbations 

Invitation, mere invitation to perceptivity 

Gradually led him to the isolation 

Which these presents place 

Under a more tolerant, perhaps, examination. 


By constant elimination 
The manifest universe 
Yielded an armour 
Against utter consternation, 

A Minoan undulation, 

Seen, we admit, amid ambrosial circumstances 

Strengthened him against 

The discouraging doctrine of chances 

And his desire for survival, 

Faint in the most strenuous moods, 

Became an Olympian apathein 

In the presence of selected perceptions. 

A pale gold, in the aforesaid pattern, 
The unexpected palms 
Destroying, certainly, the artist's urge, 
Left him delighted with the imaginary 
Audition of the phantasmal sea-surge, 

Incapable of the least ^utterance or composition, 
Emendation, conservation of the " better tradition", 
Refinement of medium, elimination of superfluities, 
August attraction or concentration. 

Nothing in brief, but maudlin confession 
Irresponse to human aggression, 
Amid the precipitation, down-float 
Of insubstantial manna 
Lifting the faint susurrus 
Of his subjective hosannah. 

Ultimate affronts to human redundancies ; 

Non-esteem of self-styled " his betters " 

Leading, as he well knew, 

To his final l 

Exclusion from the world of letters. 



CATTERED Moluccas 
Not knowing, day to day, 
The first days end, in the next noon ; 
The placid water 
Unbroken by the Simoon ; 
' ' 

Thick foliage 

Placid beneath warm suns, 

Tawn fore-shores 

Washed in the cobalt of oblivions'^ ; * 

r\ ^ r j :rr.>85*ic y.c'fu 

Or through dawn-mist 

The grey and rose 
Of the juridical 
Flamingoes ; 

r.:\ hH* ih?-^ ^^i^lr^bb (til A iba:-. 
A consciousness disjunct, 
Being but this ovcrblotted 

Of intermittences ; 

. . jnemanitayi 

Coracle of Pacific voyages, 
The unforecasted beach : 
Then on an oar 
Read this : 

"I was 

And I no more exist ; 

Here drifted 

An hedonist " 



-""' i-i : " f 
m porcelain ! 

The grand piano ,^ 

Utters a profane 

Protest with her clear soprano. 

The sleek head emerges 
From the gold-yellow frock 
As Anadyomene in the opening 
Pages of Reinach. 

Honey-red, closing the face-oval 

A basket-work of braids which seem as if they were 

Spun in King Minos' hall 

From metal, or intractable amber ; 

The face-oval beneath the glaze, 
Bright in its suave bounding-line, as 
Beneath half-watt rays 
The eyes turn topaz. 



2 3RD. 1920 


1 5 Copies on Japan Vellum numbered i- 1 5 & not for sale. 
20 Signed copies numbered 1 6- ? c 

^ TT ' J ' L J X 

joc Unsigned copies numbered 36 -200 

J 6 r ^^*uJnr5n3mo^bBnA eA 

initials & colophon by S.Wadsworth. 

-^cl A 

! ni ni?q8 
: -'noi 5 ? 


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